Planting and Harvesting
Planting and Harvesting
Words of Faith 11-20-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
2 Corinthians 9
 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Most of us don't live in a very agricultural society but in the ancient world they did. They were never far from the seasons of planting and harvesting. Some things were obvious and this was one of them. You cannot harvest if you do not plant. You cannot expect something to grow and feed you if you do not first sacrifice the seed that it takes to make that crop. Paul says that it is the same with giving gifts for the Kingdom.
Why should the Corinthians give generously toward this point of mercy in Jerusalem? Paul argued with a proverbial statement, variations of which are common in Israel's wisdom tradition. Simply put: "You reap what you sow." Paul cited a principle that holds true in both the natural and the spiritual spheres: the size of a harvest corresponds to the scope of the sowing.
Paul may have even had in mind the words of Proverbs 11:24-26… "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell."
So a man may enjoy all his grain by eating it, or he may "lose" some of it by sowing it and later reaping a bountiful harvest. A spiritual harvest, of course, may differ in kind from the seed sown and a material seed may reap a spiritual harvest but the principle is clear.
The point here is not how much one gives, but that one gives as freely as possible, knowing that the "'return"' will be generous. Since the manner of one's giving reflects the character of one's heart, there is a principle of divine retribution here. God gives back "blessings" to those who give as a matter of "blessing," but withholds his blessings from those who withhold from others.
This powerful principle may seem to defy logic at times but it is, in fact, imbedded in the design of creation. One cannot receive much without learning to give. One cannot reap if he had not sown-- or harvest where he has not planted. One cannot receive without learning first to open the grasp upon the seed that will make the harvest come about. And though it may defy logic, one can sow a path out of poverty the same way that a farmer plants his way into a harvest.
Can this principle be abused and manipulated? Of course. And it has been. But it is still a principle of God that can and should be applied. It is through giving that we learn much about the heart of God.
Are you sowing into the Kingdom? Are you sowing the spiritual seed of prayer and energy into relationships? Are you sowing the gift of time into your connection with God? Are you sowing financially into the Kingdom works, mission projects and points of mercy that He is moving in?
Father God, I want to see a rich harvest. I want to see a harvest of healing and mercy. I want to see a harvest of holiness and growth in You. I want to see a harvest of souls coming to a healed and whole relationship with You. I want to see a material harvest that can continue to be shared. Teach me how to sow generously that I may reap generously. In Jesus' Name.